LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART hosted an event featuring Nobel Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu along with long-time friend and fellow activist South African born Rev. Robert V. Taylor author of 'A New Way To Be Human'.
Both men, whos friendship spans three decades, were actively involved in the anti-apartheid struggle and have each broken ground in their own right. The outspoken Archbishop Tutu, often referred to as South Africa's 'moral compass', become the first black Archbishop of Cape Town and Robert V. Taylor become the first openly gay Episcopal dean in the United States.
In recent years Archbishop Tutu has stepped back from the lime light. In his only appearance in the United States this year we got to chat to him and Rev. Taylor before they hit the stage to discuss 'A New Way to be Human' in front of a packed room in the heart of Los Angeles.
The themes that were explored in the discussion and in Rev. Taylor's book is that of spirituality, equal rights, empathy and love. Love being the great connecter. "Love begins with caring about your own well being, which leads to acts of compassion, which leads us to discover our inter-connected and oneness" describes Taylor.
Tougher issues were also addressed particulary that of gay rights and religion. The latter often being used as a weapon against gay people.
"I've certain experienced that. That was the message of the South African government who used apartheid, claiming that it was the will of God. My journey has been coming to terms with the fact that I was led to believe that there was something inherently wrong and inferior about (being gay)." says Robert.
Archbishop Tutu chimming in charismatically, "Your sexual orientation is not your choice. Its something you have no control over. How the heck can we justify penalizing people..."
'Each of us are a spiritual being.' says Taylor
Rev. Taylor leaves us with this inspirting thought, "...each of our spiritual journeys and experiences allow us to have empathy and understanding for one another."